Heidi Haire (MFA ’12) is showing Joan July in the front gallery at Working Method Gallery, and Eric Thayer’s in the back gallery. Together they have joined forces to create the, “Found,” show! Below is a little more info.
As Robert Rauschenberg alluded to in his combine Monogram(1955-59), art is
something internal. It relies not on having the correct materials, but on being
clever enough to navigate the artistic terrain, and to utilize the materials on
hand. One needs not the media-specific studios of the past, but an open mind,
some elbow room, and a commitment to creativity.
The idea of limiting one’s use to discarded materials can paradoxically provide
license to free- associate, and to stretch one’s conceptual muscles. This idea has
an art historical precedent, and has been put into practice over the years by the
likes of Rauschenberg, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Tony
Cragg, and Gabriel Orozco. The free-wheeling, intuitive approach to art
employed by these artists rejects the narrow focus of modernism in favor of an
almost surreal use of recognizable ephemera.
Additionally, objects that have been experienced in a particular way tend to hold
certain referential posts in our psyche. Memory can then activate a web of
referential material associated with the original object. To that end, one can
harness the object, re-appropriate it into a different context, and find that the
audience recalls not only the former associated memory and all of its entangled
impressions, but construct a new memory, relating to the object as art.
Simultaneously, the found object functions as a cultural indicator. The products
or items we consume reflect our cultural values at a particular point in time,
much in the way that the refuse of previous civilizations has helped us to learn
about past civilizations. In the culture of mass production and planned
obsolescence in which we find ourselves, the materials we discard become tools
and materials in which to create a dialogue regarding the state of our current
Moreover, each viewer likely has different, unique memories anchored to the
object, which makes the role of the viewer invaluable to the exchange, providing
endless interpretations and meanings to the work. This kind of interface between
artist and viewer uses the art as a lens, exponentially broadening the scope of